A COURT IN NEW ZEALAND has heard the closing arguments in Kim Dotcom's appeal against extradition to the US on copyright charges.
The US authorities accuse Dotcom, along with three other Megaupload executives, of encouraging paying users of the peer-to-peer file-sharing site to share copyrighted material including films and music.
Megaupload was closed down by the US Department of Justice in 2012. Dotcom was arrested by New Zealand police shortly afterwards and has been fighting the accusations in court ever since.
Dotcom's defence lawyer, Ron Mansfield, has argued that the case should be thrown out because of precedent: the US Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that copyright infringement was a civil matter and could not be prosecuted as criminal fraud.
The court is now adjourned and a final decision will be forthcoming in a few weeks, but a further appeal is possible, depending on the outcome.
"Given the stakes of this case, the losing party will likely appeal any adverse judgement to the Court of Appeal," said Ira Rothken, a lawyer representing Dotcom, in an email, according to Reuters.
Dotcom has been tweeting regularly on the progress of the appeal, which has taken place over a video link between the US and New Zealand and has been broadcast live on the internet. This morning an apparently confident Dotcom sent the following tweet:
I like to thank my legal team for an excellent job. My 5 children will grow up around their father thanks to your brilliance. I'm grateful.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) September 28, 2016
A new version of the peer-to-peer file sharing site, Megaupload 2.0, is due to open in January 2017. µ
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